The Morse Museum.

Florida Guide > Museums

Charles Hosmer Morse was an industrialist and philanthropist from Chicago. He later became one of the first residents of Winter Park and his daughter named the museum to honour his memory.

The said daughter was Jeanette Genius Mc Keen - can you imaginge the pressure of being called Genius?

Anyway, I digress! Jeanette and her husband took an active interest in the museum til their deaths in the nineties and today The Morse Foundation runs the museum without recourse to any public funding.

Jeanette started the musem in 1909 and it was originally housed in Rollins College. If you have taken the boat trip at Winter Garden, the college would have been pointed out to you.

This museum is mostly famous for its dazzling Tiffany collection.

Louis Comfort Tiffany' s work is instantly recogniised anywhere; even if only for the iconic lamps. He is less well known for designing furniture, textiles and wallpapaaer but somehow, he made time to fit that in as well.

Charles was a very wealthy man who was able to put his art above business but ironically he became a commercial and artistic success.

The array of his work is truly breathtaking; his use of brilliant colour and images from nature make a visit to this museum truly joyous!

Tiffany dominates this museum and you may be surprised (as I was) to find that as well as his groundbreaking work with glass that he was also a painter and landscape artist and also worked in furniture, photography, mosaics, enamel and jewellry.

I always like to know the story behind the man (or woman) so the most interesting part of this musem is the collection of his personal items. Here are private and business letters, photographs and his designs and plans.

The Tiffany collection here is arguably the best in the world but there are other artists represented.

The Arts and Crafts movemenet has a section of its own. This movement lasted from arounfd 1850 to the start of the next century. The Arts and Crafts movement stood for the simply designed hand made products.

There are 500 or so pieces by Roockwood and examples of stained glass windows from both that era and also from the 1400s which provides a nice counterpoint.

This museum is now housed in Welbourne Avenue (no 445) The museum encompasses 30000 square feet and there is parking at the rear.

Do not visit on a monday for it is closed but other days (except sunday) it is open from 9. 30 a. m. to 4 p. m. and on sunday visit from 1 p. m. to 4 p. m.

Who would have thought that all these riches were around an hour from your vacation villa- do go!

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Page added on: 5 March 2011
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